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Sacramento Officials Cancel Annual ‘Gold Rush Days’ Event Due To Drought

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A person pans for gold. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A person pans for gold. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Sacramento officials are canceling the city’s annual Gold Rush Days festivities in Old Sacramento because of the ongoing drought.

Mike Testa, of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, told CBS13 on Monday that too much water would be needed to bring in and later clean up the nearly 200 tons of dirt used for the Labor Day weekend event.

“It takes over 100,000 gallons of water to service Gold Rush Days, and we just didn’t feel that would be a responsible use of water,” Testa said.

The bureau says the dirt transforms Old Sacramento into a scene from the 1850s and provides a safe foundation for horses, wagons and street performances.

Testa said the dry conditions are also a fire hazard for cannon and weapons demonstrations.

Chris McSwain with the Old Sacramento Business Association City said there would be some activities over Labor Day weekend in place of Gold Rush Days, including a beer crawl, and they’re working on more.

“Hopefully by the end of this week have some great announcements of new things that we’re gonna do that we’ve never done before,” he said.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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